Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has been threatened with potential legal action by Labour in a row over claims that he ordered a "cover up" of NHS care shortcomings.
Andy Burnham brought in the party's lawyers after Mr Hunt refused to retract an allegation that his Opposition shadow was involved the suppression of a critical report into "failing" hospitals.
They have written to the Cabinet minister warning of further action unless he ends what Labour says is a baseless smear campaign against Mr Burnham.
The Conservatives point to emails showing that the Department of Health under Labour tried to stop details emerging of a hospital scandal involving higher-than-normal death rates relating to relate to Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
More top news
A drink-driver who "destroyed the lives" of two mothers was allowed to have his curfew lifted so he could go on a foreign stag party.
Demonstrators have blockaded the entrance tunnel to Heathrow Airport in apparent protest at plans to build a third runway.
A man was left red-faced after neighbours reported shouting and a woman screaming - which turned out to be his efforts to kill a spider.